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General Info

Cuba
General Information
Cuba, the largest of the Antilles, is an archipelago consisting of a main island named Cuba, the Isle of Youth and about 4,195 keys and islets. Its elongated and narrow shape propitiates circulation of trade winds from the Atlantic, which cool its tropical, humid climate.

Climate
Cuba has a very pleasant average temperature of 24,6ºC (76,3ºF) yearround. knowing exact forecast will help you pack your suitcase for the specific dates of your trip.
  • Average 24,6ºC (76,3ºF)
  • Summer Average 26-27ºC (79-81ºF)
  • Winter Average 22ºC (71,6ºF)


Havana
The city of Havana is the capital of the Republic of Cuba and was founded in 1515. Its founders called it Villa San Cristóbal, but the Indians of the area insisted on calling it Havana. Due to its geographical position and the excellent characteristics of its bay it was given the name Llave del Mundo (Key to the World). For centuries, it was an obligatory stop for Spanish fleets, conquerors and adventurers. During the wars of Independence in the latter half of the 19th century the city was untouched making today's Havana the finest surviving Spanish Complex in the Americas. Although it is today a sprawling metropolis of 2 million inhabitants, its old centre retains an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, and a homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards. "Old Havana and its Fortifications" was added to Unesco's World Heritage List in 1982. For more information and pictures of Havana click here

Visas
It is necessary to have a visa to enter Cuba . Those who are coming to Cuba from countries other than the United States will normally be able to get a "Tourist Visa Card" from the travel agent who arranges the trip or from the airline that will fly them to Havana.
Participants coming from the United States have several alternatives as to how to get their visa to enter Cuba. We recommend the following: At the airport of your departure for the flight to Cuba ( Montego Bay , Cancun , Toronto , etc) the airline will sell you a "Tourist Visa Card". This will cost about US$20-25 per person. Tourist Visa Cards will be enough for those attending any of the Meetings in Varadero.

For a list of Cuba Diplomatic Missions click this link or this link

Voltage
The voltage in most residential and trade areas, offices and hotels is 110V / 60Hz, although all the hotels in Varadero have 220V / 60Hz. The electric appliances endowed with round spikes should be brought with an adapter of plane spikes that are the type used for the plugs existent in the country.

Currency
The Official Cuban Currency is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). All payments in establishments operating in foreign exchange in Cuba must be made with CUC. While in Cuba, you may exchange Euros, Canadian dollars, Pounds sterling, Swiss francs or US dollars for CUC.
For an updated list of CUC exchange rates, please visit the web site of the Banco Central de Cuba. Please, notice that it is still possible to exchange US dollars; however transactions with US dollars are subject to a 10% commission.
NO CARD ISSUED BY A BANK THAT HAS ANY CONNECTION WITH THE UNITED STATES WILL BE ACCEPTED IN CUBA. THEREFORE CAPITAL ONE, AMERICAN EXPRESS, EGG AND MBNA CARDS WILL NOT WORK IN CUBA.

Clothes to Wear
Clothing should be light, mainly during summer, so it would be best to wear shorts, cotton and flannel outfits and sandals. As for winter, a light jacket or a fine wool sweater and closed comfortable shoes would do, mainly at night. You should also bring sunglasses, and a bathing-suit and so that you can take a refreshing swim, and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Sanitary Regulations
There are only restrictive sanitary regulations for visitors coming from countries where yellow fever and endemic cholera exist or have been declared infection areas by the World Health Organization. In such cases, an International Vaccination Certificate is demanded. Products of animal and vegetable origin have entry restrictions. Animals may be imported, previous presentation of the corresponding certificate.

Border Tax
There is a departure tax of $25, payable in Cuban currency (CUC)
CIGB 20 Aniv
CIGB
Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Havana, Cuba
address 31 Ave e/ 158 and 190, Cubanacan, Playa, Havana 10600, Cuba
phone (53-7) 208 7465
(53-7) 208 7421 ext.146
email biomed@cigb.edu.cu
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